IN WHAT WAS a huge move for the former Seattle-based (and current Portland residents) Boom Bap Project, their LP Reprogram was released earlier this year on indie-hop monolith Rhymesayers Entertainment, home of Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and the inimitable MF Doom. The disc rocked a simple menu of incisive bars, hard beats, and blistering cuts; straight-up hiphop traditionalism, without succumbing to any misty take it back speechifying. Only appropriate for the crew whose very moniker is onomatopoetic shorthand for classic hiphop's pre-req drum signature. The emcees smartly take on a plethora of topics besides their own mic prowess, from upstart emcees making paint-by-the-numbers pop-rap ("Following Formulas") to the omnipresent eye watching your every move ("Surveillance"). The ambiance crafted by Karim—the NightclubberLang of this rap shit—and Destro is only furthered by great cameos from guest mic controllers like Rakaa, Gift of Gab, and the Lifesavas (who appear on my favorite get-amped album cut "Ammunition").
The production, provided by such scientists as Vitamin D, BeanOne, Mr. Hill, and the "soon-to-be-household-name" Jake One (another new Portland resident) swings and knocks like a croquet mallet to the face piece. BBP never underestimate the DJ—having recruited Scene (deservedly dubbed "Seattle's Heavyweight"), as they make like the grandmasters did and give the man his own track ("The Backbone of Hip Hop") on which to catch wreck.
BBP have brought their notoriously buck roadshow all over this land of ours for years, and recently just touched home from a five-day jaunt to Denmark alongside their Rhymesayers brethren. One just wonders how many polite Scandinavians were treated to the infamous BBP snap session! While Seattleites might not be able to walk a couple of blocks to get roasted by Karim over a cold beer anymore, Portland will soon learn that Boom Bap Project is the shit. Go see 'em rock and try to tell me any different.